What to Consider When Buying Washington State Foreclosures

October 12, 2012
Last updated:
February 14, 2024
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Over a decade ago, the housing crisis wreaked havoc on the national real estate market, sending homeowners into a frenzy to try and keep up with their mortgages. Unfortunately, many homeowners ended up upside down on their mortgages, forcing them to foreclose on their properties.

While the situation has vastly improved since then, there are still foreclosures happening all over Washington State and the country. For sale signs and foreclosure notices can be seen all around you. Because of financial hardships that some Americans face, foreclosures are a reality for many homeowners. As such, buying foreclosed properties is a viable option for buyers looking to snag a deal.

If you live in Washington State and are considering buying a foreclosed property, there are some things you should consider before buying Washington state foreclosures.

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Buyer Beware

U.S. News and World Report published an article online warning potential buyers of the problems associated with buying foreclosed properties. Buying Washington state foreclosures is a very involved, complex process, presenting buyers with the possibility of making some very costly mistakes. Here are some things that all Washington homebuyers should be wary of when buying a foreclosed property.

Use an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Even the most experienced homebuyer should avoid buying a foreclosed property without an experienced real estate agent. The complex transactions involved with buying foreclosures require the expertise of a highly trained and experienced real estate agent who knows the intricacies of purchasing foreclosed properties in the state of Washington.

If you are looking into buying a foreclosed property, seek out an agent who has bought and sold foreclosed properties in Washington and has been through market cycles. Unless you are a real estate expert yourself, you need the help of an agent who knows the market and knows how to protect your investment.

Many buyers, understandably, don’t know the specifics of real estate law, which varies from state. An experienced Washington state real estate agent will not only specialize in real estate law but will be able to explain it to you in terms you can understand. When contracts are involved, one word, one sentence can break you.

A real estate agent who knows the laws in Washington State will protect you from that “fine print” that most lay people cannot possibly understand. When a contract is signed, you have little recourse should you miss something or not understand what you signed. Combine the excitement and stress of buying a home with complex legal language, and crucial information may be overlooked.

Be Wary of the Home’s Condition

Be aware of the home’s need for repairs. Not many foreclosed homes are in perfect condition. While the “sticker” price may be attractive, be sure to factor in home improvements and necessary fixes to make the home livable.

Narrow Down Your Search

Set parameters for your search. In order to make the process manageable you must narrow down your search criteria including price, neighborhood, proximity to schools, stores, playgrounds, etc. Be specific about what kind of property you want so a deluge of listings does not come your way.

Come Up With a Sensible Offer

Don’t assume banks will take any offer you make. The quickest way to end negotiations is to make a ridiculous offer. While banks may be eager to make the sale, they’re not going to entertain an offer that’s not even in the ballpark. Playing hardball, while in some cases may work, may just waste your time, the agent’s time and the bank’s time.

Work With a Trusted Mortgage Company

Family owned and operated since 1992, Sammamish Mortgage is a referral based Seattle mortgage company that has thrived on an impeccable reputation for taking care of homebuyers. Our integrity and commitment to excellence have allowed us to create and maintain longstanding relationships with lending partners to provide our customers the superior service they deserve. Whether you are looking for a first-time loan or to re-finance, you will find Sammamish Mortgage passes unrivaled pricing and interest rates on to you.

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Need a Mortgage to Buy a Home?

If you are ready to buy a home or are simply in need of some mortgage-related answers, we’d love to help. Our Washington state clientele is the glue that holds us together and makes us the leader in mortgage solutions in the Pacific Northwest. We lend in Washington, California, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. We offer several mortgage programs to our valued clients. Contact Sammamish Mortgage today!

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